- Research Library
E. Claiborne Robins, Jr. Research Library
Our research library provides access to an unrivaled collection of primary and secondary sources, including books and journals, manuscripts, maps, broadsides, and sheet music related to the history and culture of Virginia.
Monday-Saturday, 10:00 am-5:00* pm
*Please note: Requests for materials or photocopies must be made by 4:30 pm.
Library is closed on Sundays, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, December 26, New Year's Eve, and January 2.
Please note the Library will also be closed on Saturday, April 29, 2023, for Virginia History Day.
The library is open to all researchers free of charge.
Researchers are welcome to make an appointment in advance to view specific items, though this is not required.
An appointment is required to view any museum holdings, including objects, paintings, and photographs.
Contact Library Staff
Learn more about Research Services
Our library holds a comprehensive collection of manuscripts and published materials documenting Virginia's history and culture, including state and local histories and items relating to businesses and institutions in the Commonwealth. The VMHC also subscribes to more than 300 periodicals, many of which relate to local history or special subjects. References in these journals to Virginia people, places, subjects, and events are indexed by staff and added to the online Library Catalog. Certain types of collections, such as broadsides, have special finding aids to help identify pertinent subject matter. The Museum Objects Catalog contains items such as decorative arts, furniture, photographs, glass plate negatives, packaging, paintings, prints, postcards, weapons, and militaria.
The Reading Room
The Reading Room is open to all, from the curious visitor to the professional researcher. Our library collection is non-circulating and includes books from the Manuel G. Loupassi Library Stacks. All library materials may only be examined in the Reading Room. Researchers are able to request limited digital scans of portions of published works and manuscript collections for research purposes.
Brockenbrough-Bryan Rare Book & Manuscript Suite
The Suite, including the Bryan Family Rare Book & Manuscript Study Room and Austin & Dorothy Meek Brockenbrough Rare Book & Manuscript Vault, is a state-of-the-art facility with specially designed security and fire protection housing the VMHC's most important collections.
Our Research Library staff can provide a range of services, including digital scans & reproductions, object-viewing appointments, fee-based research, research fellowships and awards, and general support. We also offer a robust collection of Researcher Resources, including finding aids, indexes, research guides, genealogical records, property and business records, and a scholarly journal.
We hope that you will find what you are looking for within our online catalogs or among our Research Resources, but if you are in need of additional assistance, please contact our research team at reference@VirginiaHistory.org or 804.342.9233.